The 'Temporal-Processing-Fit Effect': The Interplay between Regulatory State, Temporal Distance, and Construal Levels
37 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 19, 2012
The current research proposes a moderator of the established effect of temporal construal on the weighting of abstract features versus more concrete features - that of the individual’s regulatory focus. The moderating effect relies on the presence or absence of a fit between regulatory focus and the time horizon for upcoming decisions (i.e., prevention focus/ near future or promotion focus/ distant future). Under a promotion (prevention) focus, construal levels are higher in the near (distant) than in the distant (near) future. Four experiments find support for this 'temporal -processing - fit effect' and provide a perspective on its possible causes, showing that when 'fit' is the present state, the event is perceived as more important, being locally processed and construed in a concrete manner, than in non-fit states. In the latter states, the event is processed in a global manner and construed abstractly because it is perceived as less important.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation